Sep 29, 2021 - Health

CDC issues urgent advisory calling on pregnant people to get COVID vaccine

Picture of two hands wearing medical gloves filling a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine
Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The CDC issued "an urgent health advisory" on Wednesday urging people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: The CDC said it "strongly recommends" vaccination because its benefits for a pregnant person and the fetus outweigh the risks. It added that pregnant people with COVID-19 are at "increased risk" of outcomes such as preterm birth, stillbirth and admission of a newborn into the ICU.

  • The CDC is also calling on health departments and health care professionals to educate pregnant individuals on the safety and effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines.

By the numbers: 31% of pregnant people have been vaccinated against the virus, the CDC said.

  • However, vaccination rates vary by race and ethnicity. Pregnant Asian people have higher rates (45.7%) than Latinos (25%), with Black pregnant people having the lowest rates at 15.6%.
  • There have been more than 125,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in pregnant people as of Monday, including 22,000 hospitalizations and 161 deaths.

Of note: The CDC has also said that there is no evidence to suggest that vaccines can cause infertility.

  • Scientific studies have found that virus antibodies from a pregnant person receiving a vaccine were found in the umbilical cord, meaning that antibodies that could protect babies may be created.
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